Get your hardhats on Moms; we’re builders. Along with loving, supporting, guiding and disciplining our kids, motherhood also requires the fine art of architecture. Sure, most of us prefer wedges over work boots and Ray-Bans over regulation safety glasses, but our main goal is the construction of a well made, long-lasting bridge for our children to walk safely, securely and successfully from childhood to adulthood. The construction of this bridge starts early, and usually before we’re ready, our kids begin to cross. But is their bridge sturdy? Is it sound? Will it hold?
Just stick to the plans…
Encourage independence. Whether it’s their first day of preschool, or their first night in a college dorm, make sure to send a positive, reassuring message about your children’s self-sufficiency. As heartbreaking as it can be, cheer on each independent step. Go ahead and cry your heart out with hubby or girlfriends, but ensure a strong foundation for your kids’ bridge by letting go willingly and giving them the confidence they need to eventually cross without you.
Insist on responsibility. From making their beds to making good grades, in order to construct a durable bridge, demand accountability. Add another plank of wood, Mama, by refusing to do everything for your kids. Resist the temptation to fix every problem. Allowing our kids to feel the pressure of an unfinished task or the sting of negative consequences will add extra support beams and stabilize the supports of his or her bridge.
Love unconditionally. While we may not approve of all of our kids' choices, from toddlerhood to teen years, we can’t let their behavior dictate our acceptance. They will fail at times, no doubt. At some point, they will disappoint with poor choices. But a well-made bridge is held up with truckloads of grace. Forgiving and forgetting not only shows our kids the value of extending mercy to others, it gives them the solid footing they need to get back up and walk again.
Teach God’s Word. Keep your tool belt fastened because this is the nuts and bolts of your child’s bridge. Without biblical truth, it’s simply a rickety structure, ready to collapse with the slightest bit of pressure. In order to cross productively into the grown up world, our kids must learn the truth about His redemption, His sovereignty, His wisdom and His grace. Now that’s a solid bridge, Mama. Keep building.
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11)
Kathryn O'Brien writes books for kids and has a heart for moms. She's published five children's picture books, including her latest series (Sit for a Bit, Tyndale) and enjoys serving on the writing team for several online and print publications. When she’s not texting her three grown children or hanging on the front porch with her husband, Kathryn can be found biking at the beach or hiking the canyons near her home in Southern California. Visit her website athttp://www.kathobrien.com, take a look at her Facebook fan page at https://www.facebook.com/iamkathobrien/ and check her out on Instagram @sit4abit.
Help build a strong bridge for the little ones in your life with Sit for a Bit children’s books (Tyndale Publishing). Each title in the series teaches an essential Bible verse to kids, ages 3-6, hiding God’s Word in little hearts for a lifetime! We’re giving away 3 signed copies of the first book, Be Still, which shares Psalm 46:10 in a powerful and lasting way. Contest will run for one week and winners will be contacted by email within 24 hours.